Our Team

We have been providing services and conducting research for over 30 years. Both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches inform our work, which draws on perspectives from psychology, social work, psychiatry, public health, education, family systems, organizational and systems development, and counseling.

Jacob Kraemer Tebes, PhD

Center Director

The Consultation Center at Yale's Director is Jacob Kraemer Tebes, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), in the Child Study Center, and in Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Prevention and Community Research. Dr. Tebes is also Chief Psychologist for the Connecticut Mental Health Center. His professional activities include research, service, teaching, and administration. He consults to public agencies and community-based organizations on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs and services, and on the use of evaluation data to inform practice and policy.

Joy S. Kaufman, PhD

Deputy Director of Operations

The Consultation Center at Yale’s Deputy Director of Operations is Joy S. Kaufman, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, and she is the Director of Program and Service System Evaluation and the Director of Evaluation Research at the Center. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, Dr. Kaufman has 20 years experience conducting program evaluations, needs assessments, and evaluations of service delivery systems. She has provided consultation and technical assistance to state departments on issues such as the development of performance indicators, training and technical assistance plans to enable community-based organizations to implement mandated reporting requirements, and utilizing data to inform program and policy development.

Nadia L. Ward, PhD

Deputy Director of Public Affairs

The Consultation Center at Yale’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs is Nadia L. Ward, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, and she is the Director of Urban Education, Prevention, and Policy Research at the Center. Dr. Ward’s work in the area of academic achievement for African American and Latino youth has spanned 15 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public schools systems, and foundations. She has worked extensively with high-risk, as well as high achieving, urban youth and their families in a variety of capacities and has evaluated academic enrichment and competence enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings.

Area Directors (listed below), provide leadership for each of our programs and research areas. Brief biographies are provided below for each program or research director.

Christian M. Connell, PhD

Director of Child Development and Epidemiological Research

Christian M. Connell, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, is the Director of Child Development and Epidemiological Research at The Consultation Center at Yale. Dr. Connell’s research interests address contextual risk and protective processes that influence developmental and related outcomes for child and adolescent populations exposed to adversity. He has a particular focus on populations in contact with the child welfare and children’s mental health systems, including the intersection between parental substance use and child welfare (e.g., maltreatment and foster placement) outcomes.

Cindy A. Crusto, PhD

Director of Program and Service System Evaluation and Child Trauma Research

Cindy A. Crusto, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, is the Assistant Chair for Diversity, Department of Psychiatry, and the Director of Program and Service System Evaluation and Child Trauma Research at The Consultation Center at Yale. Dr. Crusto has more than 15 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating preventive interventions in schools and community agencies. She also has extensive experience providing training and technical assistance to schools and to community-based organizations on the evaluation of prevention programs.

Derrick M. Gordon, PhD

Director of the Program on Male Development

Derrick M. Gordon, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), and the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, is the Director of the Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center at Yale, and on the faculty in the Community Research Core of The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). Dr. Gordon has considerable experience in intervention and prevention development having served as an investigator on several federal, NIH, and state funded projects and studies focused on those factors that either support or undermine men transitioning from prison back to the community; the engagement of low-income, non-custodial fathers; the identification and service of adolescent fathers committed to child protection services; and men mandated to batterer intervention groups in the community.

Michael J. Strambler, PhD

Director of Child Wellbeing and Education Research

Michael J. Strambler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of California at Berkeley. One general area of Dr. Strambler’s work concerns understanding the role of social environments in the academic, psychological, social, and behavioral well-being of children and youth in urban contexts. His main focus in this area is on the ways in which home and school settings shape how youth perceive themselves academically and how self-perception affects academic performance and behavior. Another primary area of work focuses on the assessment of school-based programs and practices for the purpose of improving the academic performance and health of children. He is particularly interested in the design and implementation of rigorous and practical approaches to using data for informing practice and policy.

Tami P. Sullivan, PhD

Director of Family Violence Programs and Research

Tami P. Sullivan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale School of Medicine, is the Director of Family Violence Programs and Research at The Consultation Center at Yale. Dr. Sullivan’s program of research centers on individual- and system-level factors that affect the mental and physical health of women victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). At the individual level, she conducts risk and protective factor research and is particularly interested in applying micro-longitudinal designs such as experience sampling methods and conducting research that informs the development of interventions to be implemented in community settings.

Elizabeth H. Connors, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology)

Project Themes: Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices, School Mental Health Quality, School-Community Partnerships, Measurement-Based Care, Screening and Assessment

Program of Research: As a Clinical/Community Psychologist, Dr. Connors’ research is driven by the central principle of improving access to high-quality mental health promotion and intervention for underserved children, adolescents, young adults and their families in critical access points such as schools and primary care settings. As such, much of her research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices in settings where children’s mental health concerns are most likely to be identified and addressed.

Selecting and Testing Implementation Strategies to Advance Measurement-based Care in School Mental Health (NIMH K08MH116119): The goal of this project is to select and pilot test a set of school context-specific implementation strategies to facilitate measurement-based care (MBC) practices among school mental health (SMH) clinicians. MBC, the routine collection of data throughout treatment to drive decision-making and patient outcomes, is an evidence-based practice but infrequently implemented in usual care. The research plan involves working with SMH Stakeholder Expert Panelists to identify and achieve consensus on important and feasible implementation strategies via a modified Delphi process. Next, Panelists will engage in concept mapping to organize and rate strategies to inform selection. Finally, we will pilot test selected strategies with SMH clinicians in two districts using a multiple-baseline implementation trial to test the effect of implementation strategies on MBC implementation (i.e., fidelity, acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility) and observe the effect of MBC use on student outcomes and student and family engagement. By partnering closely with SMH clinicians and stakeholders, this project offers the opportunity to identify and adapt strategies that are feasible, scalable and ecologically-valid to promote the uptake of MBC among front line SMH clinicians.

School Health Services National Quality Initiative (University of Maryland): The School Based Health Alliance and the National Center for School Mental Health were jointly awarded a cooperative agreement from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration to lead innovation and improvement in quality of care through school-based health services (PIs: Schlitt, Hoover). The NQI 1) supports the adoption of a national census and performance measures for School Based Health Centers and Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems and 2) facilitates quality improvement and best practices for school health services via national technical assistance, training, learning collaboratives and a Community of Practice.

Supplement to the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Cooperative Agreements (MHTTC-S, University of Maryland): The University of Maryland National Center for School Mental Health (PI: Hoover) is supporting the MHTTC-S network (funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) via consultation and technical assistance to promote school mental health capacity development in select regions across the United States based on local state and district needs and strengths related to school mental health quality and sustainability.

Carolyn E. Sartor, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Program of Research: Etiology of Alcohol and Other Substance Use Disorders, Gender and Racial/Ethnic Differences, Trauma Related Psychopathology, Gene-Environment Interplay. Dr. Sartor’s program of research centers around the development of etiological models of substance use disorders that reflect variability by gender and race/ethnicity in the relative contributions of risk and protective factors. I conduct genetically informative investigations within a developmental psychopathology framework, drawing primarily from twin, family-based, and high-risk design studies with repeated assessments covering the adolescent to young adult years. Characterization of the role of childhood trauma in the development of early and problem substance use, including identification of distinctions by gender, race/ethnicity, substance, developmental period, genetic vulnerability, and stage of substance use, is a core aim of my research program. My work primarily focuses on the longitudinal course of substance use but also includes the examination of short-term patterns of substance use and their relation to contextual factors, as assessed through web-based diary methodology.

Distinctions between Black and White young women in the course of alcohol use (NIAAA R01AA023549): Building on the documented differences between African American and White young females in the prevalence of alcohol use, alcohol use disorders (AUDs), and risk factors associated with AUDs, this secondary data analysis project is designed to address three key aims: (1) Identify distinctions between African American and White young women in the timing of transitions between stages of alcohol use and of initiation of alcohol relative to marijuana use. (2) Examine differences by race in factors that contribute to early trauma and parental monitoring as well as the subsequent influence of these early environmental factors on alcohol outcomes. (3) Explore sources of variability in the contribution of early trauma and parental monitoring to the progression of alcohol use (e.g., interaction of early trauma with genetic liability to AUDs). Data are drawn from three large-scale studies of alcohol use and related psychopathology in young African American and White women, with a total of 6,828 participants, 33% self-identified as African American. The three samples were ascertained through distinct study designs: community-based with oversampling of low income neighborhoods, twin, and high-risk family, each informative for considering the contribution of socioeconomic factors in the examination of racial/ethnic differences and for identifying familial influences on drinking behaviors and co-occurring conditions.

Stress, Personality, and Health Outcomes (Virginia Commonwealth University): This pilot project was developed with investigators at Virginia Commonwealth University with the goal of identifying psychosocial factors that may account in part for observed differences in substance use between African American and White young adults. The study makes use of a construct that to date has been limited to PTSD studies, perceived susceptibility to negative events. In addition to assessing for possible distinctions by race/ethnicity and gender in this construct, we examine its association with exposure to traumatic events, discrimination, childhood neighborhood characteristics, substance use, and trauma related psychopathology, using a racially/ethnically diverse college sample of women and men.

Patricia Simon, PhD

Associate Research Scientist

Project Theme (s): Vulnerable Populations and Community, Training, Consultation and Capacity Building, Community Engaged Research, Substance Use and Mental Health

Research Description: Dr. Simon’s research aims to 1) identify of risk and protective factors for substance use and academic problems and 2) develop interventions to prevent substance use and high school dropout. Guided by an ecological framework, Dr. Simon’s work examines the differential effects of individual characteristics, as well as family, peer, school, neighborhood, policy and social/cultural contexts on substance use and academic achievement among low-income and racial/ethnic minorities. With regard to intervention development, Dr. Simon is currently developing a comprehensive academic advising curriculum that is guided by motivational interviewing.

Exploring the Link between Socioeconomic Status and Polytobacco Use: This study uses longitudinal data (waves 1-3) from of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a nationally representative survey, to: 1) Replicate the associations between SES and polytobacco use latent classes observed in Connecticut; 2) Examine transitions across polytobacco use latent classes over time and SES’s contribution to changes in class membership over time; 3) Examine whether individual, family and marketing variables mediate the relationship between SES and polytobacco latent classes; and 4) Examine race/ethnicity (and other variables) as moderators of: a) the effect of SES on polytobacco and b) the intervening effects of individual, family and marketing variables on polytobacco latent classes. Identifying polytobacco use latent classes associated with SES and mediators and moderators of this relationship will allow the FDA to target distinct user groups with tailored counter-marketing messages and establish advertising bans to reduce tobacco use disparities between high and low income youth.

Motivational Interviewing-based Academic Advising (MIAA) for Urban Youth: Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered counseling method that has effectively promoted positive behavior change (e.g., abstinence from substance use, weight loss and medication adherence). There has been increasing interest in adapting MI to promote academic achievement. This project aims to develop and evaluate an MI-based academic advising (MIAA) program to promote academic achievement among low income, urban high school students. We will also examine intervention effects on potential mediators of intervention effects such as academic engagement, academic competence, perceived connectedness, perceived autonomy, discipline referrals. Results will indicate whether MI is a viable intervention to promote academic achievement among low-income minority youth and point to mechanisms that may enhance intervention effects.

Michael Awad, Doctoral Candidate, Predoctoral Fellow (2018-2019)

Robey B. Champine, PhD, MS, MPH, Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2019): Dr. Champine received her PhD in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University. Her program of research integrates her backgrounds in psychology, criminology, public health, and developmental science to examine how ecological developmental assets (e.g., youth development programs, trauma-informed practices) may contribute to risk prevention and health promotion. At The Consultation Center, Dr. Champine works closely with Dr. Jacob Tebes to develop, implement, and evaluate multilevel trauma-informed interventions in partnership with families, educators, and service providers. In addition, she works with Dr. Jason Lang at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut to disseminate and evaluate trauma-informed practices in schools and communities. Dr. Champine has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in adolescent development, advanced developmental research methods, positive youth development, criminology, and criminal justice, and currently serves as a Subject Matter Expert in the construction of online developmental psychology courses. She is an active early career representative on the Student/Early Career Council of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), a Scholar in the SRCD Teaching Mentorship Program, and a Northeast Regional Conference Coordinator for the Society for Community Research and Action.

Angela Haeny, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2020): Dr. Haeny received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri and completed her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota. Her research involves studying risk factors for the development of alcohol use disorder (e.g., impulsivity-related traits, family history of alcoholism, discrimination) and predictors of drug and alcohol treatment outcomes particularly among racial and ethnic minorities. She is currently working with Drs. Carolyn Sartor and Stephanie O’Malley studying the development and treatment of substance use disorders among African Americans.

Oscar Rojas Perez, Doctoral Candidate, Predoctoral Fellow (2018-2019): Oscar is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at the University of Missouri, where he also received his M.A. He received two Bachelor’s degrees in Chicano/Latino Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. His research involves studying Latina/o psychological well-being and cultural competencies. Recently, Oscar has grown increasingly interested in the cultural/linguistic adaption and development of evidenced-based assessments and treatments. He is currently working with Dr. Jacob Tebes on the implementation and evaluation of community-based programs and services.

Samantha Reaves, Doctoral Candidate, Predoctoral Fellow (2018-2019)

Alayna Schreier, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019): Dr. Schreier received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017. Her program of research is focused on the prevention of child maltreatment in at-risk populations. Specifically, her research evaluates evidence-based services for traumatized or at-risk youth in community settings with a focus on family, institutional, and systems-level factors that contribute to service uptake and utilization. Dr. Schreier is also interested in the intersection of research, practice, and policy, with a specific focus on communicating the results of research to policymakers and practitioners. She is currently working with Drs. Joy Kaufman and Cindy Crusto to evaluate statewide systems of care serving youth and families.

Christine L. Simon, ScD, ScM (2018-2020)

Jacqueline Woerner, PhD, Postoctoral Fellow (2017-2019): Dr. Woerner received her PhD in Social Psychology from Wayne State University, and her BS in Psychology and BA in Global Studies from Appalachian State University. The overarching goal of her research is to understand why people engage in behavior that may be detrimental to themselves or to others, such as risk-taking and aggression. In one line of research, she investigates the extent to which interpersonal violence victimization disrupts social functioning and predicts various health outcomes and behaviors. She is specifically interested in the self-regulatory (e.g., regulatory focus) and social (e.g., need to belong, attachment) processes that underlie the associations between women’s experience of victimization and subsequent engagement in risky sex and substance use. Additionally, she is interested in the etiology of violence perpetration, and the ways in which alcohol intoxication and normative influences facilitate aggression. She currently works with Dr. Tami Sullivan and Dr. Carolyn Sartor to identify applications of these ideas that influence prevention and policy.

Diane Barboza, The Consultation Center Facility Manager and Receptionist

Janis Celone, Senior Administrative Assistant

Leslie Capezzone, BS, Coordinator The Consultation Center Family Violence Program

Christina Civitello, The Consultation Center Receptionist

Kathryn EY Clark, MS, Research Associate, Data Manager

Ingrid Colon, BA, Program Coordinator

Susan Florio, Administrative Associate to the Directors

Doreen Fulara, MSW, Research Associate

Jeniece Gibson, BS, Administration of The Consultation Center, Inc., Programs

Katina Gionteris, BA, Senior Data Manager/Statistician II

Maegan Genovese, MS, Research Associate

Amy Griffin, MA, Senior Evaluation Consultant

Elizabeth Grim, MPH, MSW, Senior Evaluation Consultant

Erin Hoffman, BA, Research Assistant

Khalid Jabarkhail, Administration of the Yale/CMHC Programs

Aliza Lipman, BA, Research Assistant

Cindy Medina, BS, Research Assistant

Joanna Meyer, MAT, Research Associate

Paige Nelson, MAR, Program Director, Drug Free Communities

Devon White, LCSW, Community Program Coordinator, Riverside Education Academy